The 1st July marks the tenth anniversary of a huge step forward for public health; a ban on all forms of smoking in areas where it had been commonplace for many years; pubs, nightclubs, restaurants and cafes.
During the first year that the smoking ban came into place in England in 2007 there were 1,200 fewer emergency admissions to hospital for heart attacks (Centre for Public Impact 2016). Cigarette smoking has steadily reduced over this 10 year period and is reaching record lows (Office for National Statistics 2016). Whilst many people may be alive today as a result of such a lifestyle clean up, this deadly habit continues to take the lives of more people than all other preventable causes of death and reduces life by up to 10 years (ASH 2016).
If you, or someone you know, would like to add 10 healthier and happier years to your life by fighting the UK’s biggest killer look through our tips on how to quit today.
Make a date
Prepare in advance and decide on the day you want to quit. Choose a day when you are pre-occupied with other activities and unlikely to be stressed. Perhaps take some time out and head to the countryside for a heart-healthy walk. Leave your pockets free of cigarettes and lighters, stay away from triggers such as countryside pubs and breathe in the fresh air with loved ones.
Find YOUR Incentive
Most smokers want to quit and will attempt several times before they succeed. Whether it’s a shocking advert on TV that leaves a sickly taste (smokefreevideos), the hole in your wallet (why quit calculator) or wanting to live a more active lifestyle (lifestyle guides), seek inspiration from that one overriding incentive that will give you the final push.
Keep cravings at bay
Finding yourself with extra time when you would normally be smoking can lead to overwhelming cravings. In the early stages it’s important to find a healthy replacement that will boost your metabolism and leave you feeling in control. This could mean simply changing tasks with a walk up and downstairs in between, or going for a 10 minute jog until the craving passes. For hand to mouth cravings avoid sugary snacks and stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol; pour yourself a glass of water and satisfy your taste buds with a handful of heart-healthy berries or unsalted nuts.
Have a heart of gold
You are facing up to a great challenge, so why not use this opportunity to set up a sponsorship page and have your friends and family show support for a good cause. You could plan ahead for a new challenge when you and your heart are fitter and stronger. Check out My Run, My Way, Swim the Channel, the Great Wall of China Trek or create your own goal.